Roll up, roll up, and welcome to the London Kiwi Lounge. We’re serving a litany of festive drinks for Christmas and New Years, all guaranteed to tempt you to sip a few glasses and linger in front of the fire (whether real flame or faux flickers – available on Youtube in a variety of choices.) [Disclosure: some of these were gifted.]
There is something about winter that just calls for hearty, spiced drinks. They warm you from the tip of your toes up to the top of your head – especially during the most festive time of the year. There are of course all the classics, but this selection all have something really special about them. A little less run of the mill… ** please drink responsibly **
Veuve Clicquot Champage
I love a glass of Veuve Clicquot – whether in Rheims or in one of my favourite London places. Fancy a little history wander? The ‘Grand Dame’ of champagne married François Clicquot, son to the founder of the Maison Clicquot. It was because she had spent this time at his side that Madame Clicquot was able to take the reins of the family house after the untimely death of her husband François in 1805. In an era when women were excluded from the business world, she dared to assume the head of the company, a role she undertook with passion and determination. Madame Clicquot’s character might be summarized with two words: audacious and intelligent.
La Grande Marque Saumur Brut
This sparkling wine, La Grande Marque Saumur Brut from the Loire Valley in France, is fresh and lively on the palate with the floral bouquet typical of Chenin Blanc. Well-balanced and light with an elegant aftertaste.
New Town Gin [GIFTED]
This blackberry and winter spice liquer by Wharf Distillery is all things autumn berries and subtle warming spices. It’s the perfect combination for those winter evenings and festive celebrations. I love drinking it long with a good lemonade, or you can add a shot to your choice of fizz for that perfect celebration tipple.
Teichenne Kiwi Schnapps
Tangy, peppery and aromatic, just as kiwi should be, this is a delicious Spanish schnapps from top producers, Teichenne. It makes for a delicious twist to a mojito.
Lost Years Four Island Rum
A blend of Caribbean rums from Lost Island, Four Island is made with aged rums from Barbados, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic, as well as unaged rum from Guadeloupe. The palate offers rich, earthy notes of tropical fruit, spices and oak. It’s. So. Good.
Niepoort Tawny Dee Port [Gifted for a Comte cheese tasting]
Niepoort have been an independent family wine business since 1842. All of this whimsically branded line up are delicious (including an interesting white port) but my favourite is the Tawny Dee. During the ageing process the Tawny Dee acquires great wisdom and subtleness through ageing in small old oak casks, exhibiting discrete characters of dried stone fruits. Fantastisc with nuts based desserts, fruit pies or the portuguese “Leite Creme queimado”.
Rubis Chocolate Wine
“Beautifully Unconventional” the Rubis Chocolate Wine is an award-winning blend of Spanish Tempranillo wine and chocolate. It’s an indulgent treat which can be enjoyed as an after dinner drink chilled over ice or just as a dessert wine. It’s an absolutely scrumptious way to round out the day.
Riga Black Balsam [Gifted]
This was a real surprise. The Riga Black Balsam is an award-wining traditional Latvian herbal liqueur which can be traced back to 1752 and is a blend of 24 ingredients including roots, berries, grasses and buds. It’s a bittersweet experience that can be enjoyed neat or in cocktails. I used the blackcurrant in a long drink, with a dash of lime cordial and lemonade (and I’ll share a dessert recipe later) – but the cherry would also be wonderful in a coffee.
Oh, and mulled cider/apple juice – but this list is already getting rather extensive. But then the best bars are, aren’t they!
What’s your favourite winter tipple?